Whether we're talking about TV, films, games, or books, one thing is always true: sequels sell.
When we see something good, we want more of it, but following up on a fantastic first effort can be tricky. This is why terms like "sophomore slump" and "second album syndrome" are so commonly used; making a second instalment of almost anything isn't easy and often results in disappointment.
This is especially true in television. First seasons of TV shows are new, fresh, and exciting, but second seasons can rarely recreate that same sort of magic. In many cases, the writers and directors simply hadn't planned too far ahead and have to cobble together scripts and plotlines in a relatively short amount of time. In other cases, first seasons are just so good and original that their sequels have no chance of matching them.
Whether it was down to changes in the cast, a lack of ideas, boring stories, or something else altogether, these second seasons failed to live up to the promise of their predecessors. In some cases, they even proved fatal to the show as a whole, with reduced ratings ultimately leading to inevitable cancellations.
The first season of Heroes had its issues but was generally well-liked and seemed to have bags of promise. There was a little period where you couldn't get through a single day without hearing someone quote the show's famous tagline: "Save the cheerleader, save the world". Unfortunately, the second season was a major disappointment.
The 2007-08 writers' strike affected the production of season two of Heroes, resulting in just 11 episodes being produced compared to the original planned tally of 24. With less episodes, you might think that the show would be faster-paced and more action-oriented, right? Wrong.
Instead of a thrilling, superhero comic-style story brought to life on the small screen, viewers were forced to endure painfully slow episodes and the introduction of a whole host of new characters on top of what was already a large cast.
Sylar (Zachary Quinto) was regarded as one of the best baddies on TV, but season two's terrible changes proved to be the ultimate villain for Heroes; Peter Petrelli and friends did survive for a third and fourth season, but ratings rapidly declined and the show was eventually cancelled.